Residents seek stop for dangerous’ intersection

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Gibson Road resident Willie Woodrick stands along the roadside as traffic flows through the intersection of Gibson Road and China Grove Road Monday. (Brian Loden The Vicksburg Post)

[12/14/04] Stop signs should be added at a Gibson Road intersection near the place where two wrecks have occurred in three weeks, area residents said.

The suggestion will be presented to the Warren County Board of Supervisors, said Richard George, whose District 5 encompasses the intersection of Gibson and China Grove roads.

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Two drivers’ vehicles have left the road since Nov. 23. The layout limits sight lines from several directions.

The curve and intersection are about a half-mile from the east end of Gibson Road, a two-lane road that runs east-west among homes, churches and wooded areas for 3.7 miles between Mississippi 27 and Halls Ferry Road.

“If you’re coming off (Mississippi) 27 you can’t see what’s coming toward you whenever you go to make that turn at China Grove Road,” said Deputy Bubba Comans, an 18-year member of the Warren County Sheriff’s Department who lives with his family near the intersection.

The only stop signs for Gibson Road traffic are at the road’s east and west ends. Residents who live along its eastern end say more vehicles are using the intersection and that many of them are often going much faster than the 35-mph speed limit.

“It’s just dangerous,” said Comans, who has four children who are picked up and dropped off by school buses near their home. “You can hear them slide wheels,” Comans said of some of the vehicles that brake when school buses are stopped outside his home.

Another resident said he thinks the intersection should be made a three-way stop.

“It’s becoming a major cut-through from one side of the county to the other,” said Willie Woodrick, whose family has lived in the area since 1958. “A three-way stop sign here would tremendously slow traffic down. It would be a big help.”

Woodrick’s brother’s home, which fronts Gibson Road, was struck by a car that left Gibson Road on Nov. 23. It was also the home nearest to where a car flipped into a ditch along the road 16 days later.

Land along about a half-mile stretch of Gibson Road west of the intersection has been cleared, and about seven manufactured homes have been placed on it in about the past year-and-a-half, Woodrick said.

“Until about 12 or 18 months ago it was all woods,” Woodrick said.

Lots for further similar development are also being cleared south of the intersection near China Grove Road.

Gibson Road meets Mississippi 27 near Tingleville Store, 5736 Gibson Road, 2.8 miles southeast of Warren Central High School. The manager there, Shirley Hansford, said she had worked at the store 10 years and she has noticed a substantial growth in the number of homes and residents in the area during that time, especially during the past five years. That growth also includes some subdivisions off Lee Road, including Turning Leaf, she said.

Warren County E-911 dispatch center records show only one wreck has occurred at the intersection this year, not including the two wrecks in front of Woodrick’s brother’s home.

Some of the wrecks that have happened near the eastern end of Gibson Road have been severe, Comans said.

“We had a head-on several months ago,” he said.

Often, vehicles run in the ditch and no one is called, Woodrick said.

“We’ve pulled several out that haven’t been reported,” he said of his family’s use of equipment, including a tractor, to pull vehicles from ditches along the east end of the curve.

George said he would suggest to the board that the situation be studied.

“We’ll make the best decision we can,” he said.